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Hero soldier Deacon Cutterham selling Army medals

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  • War in Afghanistan (2001-present)
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionSjt Deacon Cutterham was presented with his medal at Buckingham Palace in 2012

A soldier hailed as a hero for saving the lives of his patrol is selling his medal collection.

Deacon Cutterham's honours include the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC) for picking up and hurling away a Taliban grenade.

His actions, while a sergeant during a tour of Afghanistan in 2011, were described as "utterly courageous".

The collection of seven medals is expected to fetch up to £120,000 at auction.

The CGC - one level down from the Victoria Cross - is awarded in recognition of acts of conspicuous gallantry during active operations.

The citation on Sjt Cutterham's award reads: "The action itself was utterly courageous, carried out with composure and clarity of thought.

"Cutterham's gritty leadership and gallant act saved lives and inspired his men."

'I knew the sound'

Sjt Cutterham, 37, from Bristol, joined the Army at 16 and served in Iraq and Afghanistan during a 19-year military career.

The grenade incident happened when, with the 1st Battalion the Rifles, he was leading a patrol in Nahr-e-Saraj District in southern Afghanistan.

Walking along the banks of a stream, Sjt Cutterham saw the locals nearby suddenly scatter.

"It was then I heard a familiar 'ping' noise and knew exactly what it was," he said.

image copyrightDix Noonan Webb
image captionThe Conspicuous Gallantry Cross is one level down from the Victoria Cross - the highest UK military honour

Looking up he saw a hand grenade land in the water about a metre from him.

"I liken the sensation to a wasp flying down your top and you can't move quick enough to get that t-shirt off - only if the grenade explodes, it's not just a sting, it's the life of me and my team," he said.

Not able to see the device in the murky water, he searched for it with his hands and when he found it, threw it into another nearby stream where it exploded without injuring anyone.

Sjt Cutterham also survived being nearly blown up by Taliban explosives later in his time in Afghanistan.

Explaining why he is selling his medals, he said: "My medals were hard-earned and I will be investing the proceeds carefully to help ensure my future financial security."

His collection will be sold by London-based Dix Noonan Webb on 12 November.

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